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What should a youth batter do every pitch?

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  • What should a youth batter do every pitch?

    My son will be playing kid pitch for the first time next season. I've heard that he should "stride" every pitch. So he can do that, but when he "stride every pitch" it's apparent to me that he made up his mind before I threw the ball and had no intention on swinging at the ball.

    I'm sure some of it will come naturally once he actually starts kid pitch. But what actually should we see when he takes a pitch?

    Stride
    Hip turn?
    Bat starting to turn?
    Hands starting forward?

    I guess by just telling him to stride every pitch he just steps forward on some pitches and swings at others. I want to know if there is more than just taking that step when someone takes a ball.

    Thanks!
    Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

  • #2
    Be exhaling as you...
    Smoooothly stride with the pitcher.
    Watch pitcher's release point, to see the release.
    Follow the trace of white from release point, in. It becomes the ball.
    Keep hands and arms in close.
    Reach forward Quickly to tag it!

    Your other details:
    Hip turn?
    Bat starting to turn?
    Hands starting forward?

    are questionable and depend on personal style. Hip turn might happen at detection of location.
    Bat might be moving in a holding pattern [running start] but not forward until Decision to cut..
    Last edited by virg; 04-15-2012, 12:10 PM.

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    • #3
      In addition to striding on every pitch, his approach is very important. He needs to have the intent to swing every pitch until he decides he decides to take the pitch. Then he can hold up. I see most kids that age wait until they decide if it's a strike or ball before they start their swing. By then it's too late. I tell my team (mostly first-year kid pitch) to think "Yes-yes-yes-..." on every pitch. It's a lot easier to think "Yes-yes-yes-NO", than "No-No-No-YES". Be warned that it takes most players a while to get comfortable at the plate against kid pitchers. Some are nervous, some are afraid of getting hit by a wild pitcher, and others are afraid to swing at bad pitches. Be patient if he struggles in games at the plate at first.

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      • #4
        He should be thinking .... swing, swing, then swing OR swing, swing, don't swing if it's not a hittable pitch. At his age if you want to make it simple enough ... See the ball, hit it. The habits for kid pitch are the same as machine pitch. He just needs to decide to swing at some of the pitches.

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        • #5
          Stride, See, then Swing. The exact timing of the various steps take place at fractions of seconds difference between one hitter and another. Physical ability plays a big part in the timing. This process is why you will hear some guys say that less is more with a stride. During the stride the hitter is reading the pitch to determine whether or not to continue with the swing. Excessive head movement during this phase will make reading that pitch for a young hitter much more difficult. You also don't want a hitter getting his foot down too early because IMO it disrupts the natural flow of the swing. If we want them getting their foot down just waiting on the ball we might as well spread them out and say don't stride. Sorry if I digressed but to answer your question he should be taking every pitch with the intent to swing alowing the pitch location to tell him "don't swing".

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          • #6
            Yes, a batter always strides regardless of whether he decides to swing at the pitch or not. In other words, the swing/don't swing decision is made after the stride.

            What the batter "thinks", called the "last conscious thought" by Mike Schmidt/Rob Ellis is a highly important and under coached part of hitting. I'd stay away from technical, mechanical body aspects of this and consider these options:

            1. Think of nothing at all.
            2. " Hit the ball hard somewhere."
            3. Hard line drive at the pitcher.

            Etc, etc. Keep it simple. Experiment with phrases and see what works. As most kids lack aggression you may want an aggressive word in there. Likewise, for a kid who is over swinging you might want an "easy' word in there. You may want the word "ball" in there as well. Stay away from hips, elbows, bla, bla, bla.
            Major Figure

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tg643 View Post
              He should be thinking .... swing, swing, then swing OR swing, swing, don't swing if it's not a hittable pitch. At his age if you want to make it simple enough ... See the ball, hit it. The habits for kid pitch are the same as machine pitch. He just needs to decide to swing at some of the pitches.
              Originally posted by azmatsfan View Post
              In addition to striding on every pitch, his approach is very important. He needs to have the intent to swing every pitch until he decides he decides to take the pitch. Then he can hold up. I see most kids that age wait until they decide if it's a strike or ball before they start their swing. By then it's too late. I tell my team (mostly first-year kid pitch) to think "Yes-yes-yes-..." on every pitch. It's a lot easier to think "Yes-yes-yes-NO", than "No-No-No-YES". Be warned that it takes most players a while to get comfortable at the plate against kid pitchers. Some are nervous, some are afraid of getting hit by a wild pitcher, and others are afraid to swing at bad pitches. Be patient if he struggles in games at the plate at first.
              right.

              the swing which actually starts well before the actual swing in the coiling phase has to be started every time. you are ready to swing until you see that the pitch is outside the zone. you always visualize the ball hitting the zone and you are ready to pound it until you realize it is not a good pitch.

              it's like driving a go-kart: you step always on the gas pedal and only hit the break if you need it
              I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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